First responders prevent disaster in downtown Carthage

A rapid response from local first responders prevented disaster in downtown Carthage on Thursday morning. When a fire broke out in an apartment due to a mishap with hot grease, first responders immediately arrived, safely evacuated building tenants, and extinguished the fire.

The call originated shortly before 10:40 a.m. from the Seawell Building in Carthage, which houses Formyduval Homes and G&F Guns & Gold on the ground floor and several apartment units above. The building is directly on the downtown Carthage traffic circle, across from the courthouse.

According to the tenant who accidentally started the fire and spoke with Sandhills Sentinel, the fire started when he was cooking and momentarily left the kitchen. In the short span of time that he left hot oil and a George Foreman grill unsupervised, the kitchen had filled with smoke, and a small fire had started.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol was the first to arrive and quickly evacuated the tenants, including a cat in its carrier. Fire departments arrived shortly thereafter and immediately set to work extinguishing the fire.

Carthage Fire and Rescue confirmed that no one was hurt in the fire or the chaos that ensued.

The building remained evacuated while the fire department investigated and ensured the units were safe. The traffic circle filled with temporarily displaced tenants and curious bystanders as several fire departments across the county cleared the scene.

Units from surrounding areas responded to the call, including Carthage Fire and Rescue, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Eastwood Fire and Rescue, Cypress Pointe Fire and Rescue, Whispering Pines Fire and Rescue, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, Carthage Police, and Moore County EMS.

~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Assistant Editor Abegail Murphy

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